New NFL rumors surrounding Colin Kaepernick are suggesting the former 49ers quarterback could end up as the Cincinnati Bengals starter. After a rough start to the NFL season, it appears that a handful of Bengals players are looking for Kaerpnick to replace longtime starter Andy Dalton in Cincinnati. Based on struggles by the offense and the fact that Kaepernick could make a better choice than most backups out there, will Cincinnati give him the call? Also, would Kaepernick be ready to play if he is called upon by the team?
On Sunday night, NBC Sports Pro Football Talk‘s Mike Florio reported on the details of the Cincinnati situation. The team has started out 0-2 this season and had trouble scoring. Much of that has fallen on starting quarterback Andy Dalton, as well as their offensive coordinator. The latter has been changed out in favor of Bill Lazor, but if Dalton continues struggling it could mean he gets benched. His backup would be A.J. McCarron unless a number of Bengals players get their locker room prayers answered. While McCarron might fill in admirably, some of the players are looking for an “off the board” option at the QB spot, namely Colin Kaepernick.
Kaepernick’s obviously available and he also appears ready to go at a moment’s notice. A report from ESPN on Sunday night indicated that the former San Francisco QB has still been working out to get ready for a team to give him the call. Kaepernick apparently told Shaun King of the Fair Punishment Project that he still wants to play saying, “I’ve never stopped. I’m ready right now. Working out daily.” There are a number of analysts and NFL players who are surprised he’s still not playing in the league as of right now.
Kaepernick has been mentioned in clips by numerous sports debate shows and also in comments made by players including LeSean McCoy and Aaron Rodgers. There have been questions raised as to why some teams have opted for the choices they have at the quarterback position for this season or why they didn’t bring a QB like Kaepernick to their roster until their starters were ready to play.
Two teams that have popped up are the Miami Dolphins and Indianapolis Colts, both of whom were without their starting QBs at the beginning of the season. Miami opted to sign former Bears QB Jay Cutler after Ryan Tannehill was lost to surgery. Indianapolis is currently relying on backups Scott Tolzien and Jacoby Brissett until Andrew Luck is ready to go. The Colts have struggled in their first two games and have an 0-2 record under Tolzien and Brissett, just like the Bengals do under Andy Dalton.
Meanwhile, a healthy Colin Kaepernick hasn’t played since the 2016 season where he participated in 12 of the team’s games and racked up 2,241 yards and 16 touchdown passes on 196-for-331 passing. He had a workout with the Seattle Seahawks back in May and there were rumors that the Baltimore Ravens may have wanted to add him to their roster. However, discussions never materialized in Kaepernick being signed by Baltimore. Joe Flacco is playing for the team after a back injury raised concerns in the preseason. That leaves the former 49ers QB available for the taking of any team in need, and there seem to be several including Cincinnati and possibly Indianapolis.
The Bengals have lost their first two games of the season to the Baltimore Ravens and Houston Texans. The Ravens loss was a 20-0 shutout and while the team managed to put nine points on the board against Houston, they all were field goals. With Green Bay the next team on the schedule and possibly coming off a loss to the Falcons, Dalton could find the bench calling his name as the Bengals call upon Colin Kaepernick in the near future. That will require management making the call, but if enough players are for it, and the team is struggling badly, it might be worth the gamble.
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